Disasters & Accidents

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Wildfire victims would not have to pay taxes on the cost of rebuilding their homes under a bill approved Friday in the Oregon House.

  

Brian Bull / KLCC

People rebuilding after the Holiday Farm Fire just got a break. The Lane County Board of Commissioners has approved a fee waiver program for land use, sanitation, and building permits.

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

A group of Bushnell University students, along with Project Hope are spending part of their spring break in Eugene building sheds for survivors of last year’s wildfires.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Headquarters/Michael Pellant, BLM / Flickr.com/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Emergency evacuation plans are being developed for six specific sites in Lane County, and officials are asking for public input.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Spring might not be the time of year we typically think about wildfires. But a series of free webinars starting Wednesday, March 17 is meant to help Oregonians prepare for another wildfire season.

  

Provided by Brian Alexander

Sunday, March 14, 2021 marks one year since the first COVID-19 death in Lane County.  KLCC revisited the grim anniversary with the widower of MaryKay Alexander.  She died March 14, 2020 at the age of 60.

Marion County Sheriff's Office

 


 

Like a lot of people living in the Santiam Canyon, Rickey Thomas and his wife fled their house in the middle of the night last September.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

FEMA says it’s opened a temporary housing site in Lincoln City. The manufactured housing will serve victims of the Echo Mountain Fire, which destroyed hundreds of homes last September. FEMA says so far 106 households have moved into similar units in fire-damaged counties around the state.

The agency said a total of 264 families are currently qualified for the housing, but the number fluctuates as survivors sometimes find temporary or permanent housing on their own.

Christiana Rainbow Plews

Five months after the devastating Holiday Farm fire, the Upper McKenzie Fire District Chief announced she’ll take a leave of absence. The 30-year fire-fighting veteran will focus on her mental health.


Christiana Rainbow Plews

During last fall’s devastating wildfires, Oregon firefighters were on the front lines-- and the public was grateful. But the job takes a toll. The Institute of American Firefighters finds up to 37% of first responders meet the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. KLCC has this story of a Lane County Fire Chief who recognized her distress and had the courage to ask for help.

Brian Bull / KLCC

The last five and a half months have been a struggle for residents of the McKenzie River Corridor. After the Holiday Farm Fire ravaged the area, winter brought floods, mudslides, and collapsing trees. But this weekend, three organizations converged on the town of Blue River, to give a helping hand. 


ODFW

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is still trying to figure out how to restore production at the Rock Creek Hatchery, which was destroyed by a wildfire last September.

  

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Tens of thousands of Oregonians are still without power following a series of ice and snow storms over the weekend.

  

Oregon started Tuesday with nearly a quarter of a million homes and businesses lacking power, and electrical crews battled ongoing failures as downed trees took more customers offline as they repaired a strained grid. By 4:30 p.m., they’d gained ground, bringing the total of outages to roughly 195,000 across the state, with some customers having spent days in the dark and others surprised by fresh failures Tuesday.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Grant money is helping maintain relief and recovery efforts for the 2020 Oregon wildfires.  The United Way of Lane County is one of the latest beneficiaries.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

UPDATE:  On Sunday, Feb. 14 the Oregon Legislature announced that all hearings on Monday, Feb. 15 and Tuesday, Feb. 16 would be postponed due to extensive power outages and ice storm damage in Salem. The wildfire hearings are now scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17 and Monday, Feb. 22.

 

Oregon lawmakers in charge of guiding the legislature’s response to last fall’s wildfires are seeking input in the form of a series of public hearings.

  

Rachael McDonald

KLCC was on the air with updates on the dozens of historic wildfires that started on Labor Day, 2020. Our focus was mainly on the fire closest to our community of Eugene, Oregon, the Holiday Farm Fire. You can hear the breadth of coverage that starts with a newscast with updates on evacuation levels and other updates. Next, you'll hear a report on a woman whose home and business were lost in the Holiday Farm Fire. Then, a story about people waiting to hear when they can go back to check on their homes.

Rachael McDonald

Oregon Department of Transportation crews are removing hazardous trees from the McKenzie Highway corridor affected by the Holiday Farm Fire. 

  

Brian Bull / KLCC

It’s been almost five months now since the Holiday Farm Fire blazed through the McKenzie River Corridor. It destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses in communities like Blue River and Vida.

KLCC talked to Lane County’s long-term recovery manager for the incident, Matt McRae, on the current state of the fire-ravaged area.


Facebook John Houdeshell

A firefighter who was the victim of a 2018 hit and run has died from his injuries. Oregon State police continue to search for the driver. 

Andy Nelson / Register Guard/pool

The state of Oregon is offering to help people living in areas affected by last fall’s wildfires to get their wells tested.

  

Provided by Lane County Sheriff's Office

Lane County authorities say a missing Eugene man has been found dead, after his car apparently went off the road. 

Andy Nelson / Register Guard/ Pool

Program Date: Jan. 29, 2021

Air Date: Feb.1, 2021

From The City Club of Eugene:

Just over four months ago, the Holiday Farm Fire consumed more than 173,000 acres of the McKenzie River valley.

In Lane County:

The Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District is closed. Bus routes are unsafe due to icy roads.

City of Newport

Officials urge the public to stay away from a coastal outcropping in Newport known as Jump-off Joe, after a landslide.

  

David Yost / FEMA

Last year’s wildfire victims have expanded housing assistance, following FEMA’s approval of Lane County’s request for a direct housing mission.

Tom Atkinson / R3digital

Community members are raising money to help rebuild the Blue River Library, which was one of hundreds of structures destroyed in the Holiday Farm Fire last September.

Andy Nelson / Register-Guard / pool

Some Oregonians affected by the September wildfires are still without reliable phone service.

Brian Bull / KLCC

The damage left by Oregon’s 2020 wildfires will pose risks and challenges for years, according to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Most people in Eugene and Lane County can now text 911 for emergency services.

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